• According to Shams Charania of The Vertical, Kevin Durant denied earlier reports that he had told Russell Westbrook or Nick Collison that he planned on returning to the Thunder.

    “It’s false,” Durant said. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it…I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”

    Stories have swirled since July 4th about Durant and Westbrook’s relationship, with Howard Beck of Bleacher Report reporting that Durant had grown frustrated with Westbrook’s style of play.  Beck quoted a source close to KD as saying: “Ultimately, [Durant] got frustrated and felt that they had plateaued… He still had the same issues that he had with Russ under Scotty. The offense didn’t change much.”

    In response, Durant has claimed that he made his own decision and that tensions with Westbrook had been overstated.  “”Nah, it wasn’t [a factor in me leaving],” Durant said. “I mean obviously [that alleged subplot is] coming out now [that] I’m gone, all these reports are going to come out. I can’t really control it, but I just made a decision based on where I wanted to go, man.”

    We obviously can’t know what was said in private between Westbrook and Durant, but stories about their relationship will likely continue to dominate the NBA landscape for months to come.

Fantasy News

  • Karl-Anthony Towns
    C, Minnesota Timberwolves

    Karl Anthony Towns (left knee sprain, illness) is still being listed as questionable and will be a game-time decision for Friday's game versus Pacers.

    This is a non-update and we won't dignify it with fresh analysis. You and us both will just have to check back in closer to game time to see if he returns tonight.

    Source: Chris Hine on Twitter

  • Bruno Caboclo
    SF, Memphis Grizzlies

    Bruno Caboclo has been diagnosed with a left knee bone bruise and will miss 4-6 weeks.

    Caboclo likely helped some readers win championships last year with some eye-opening performances during the fantasy playoffs and it's looking like his next chance to contribute to fantasy teams will come smack dab in these year's fantasy playoffs. However. Caboclo's star has since fallen with the signing of Jonas Valanciunas and the dual emergence of Jaren Jackson Jr. and Brandon Clarke. While it's good that the former first-round project has carved out a spot in the pros, he's not worth monitoring in fantasy this season.

    Source: Grizzlies PR on Twitter

  • Edmond Sumner
    PG, Indiana Pacers

    The Pacers have assigned Edmund Sumner and Alize Johnson to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants and, as a result, neither player will be available to play on Friday night against the Wolves.

    This is a procedural move. With the Pacers getting healthy they have no need for these two. Sumner is a player to monitor in the very deepest and/or dynasty leagues due to his intriguing steal rate, but otherwise there's nothing to see here.

    Source: Scott Agness on Twitter

  • D'Angelo Russell
    PG, Golden State Warriors

    D'Angelo Russell scored 19 points on 6-of-18 shooting to go with three boards, nine dimes, three steals and six triples in Thursday's 131-134 loss to the Nuggets.

    Russel's shooting was off, but it's a good thing that all six of his made field goals were triples. The game-high nine assists also help boost his line and even though he'll be dinged up here and there, the Warriors don't risk much by playing him so there's not too much to worry about here.

  • Willie Cauley-Stein
    C, Golden State Warriors

    Willie Cauley-Stein logged 33 minutes in a start on Thursday and scored 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting with six rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block.

    Cauley-Stein has always had ample opportunity to run away with the job, but he just can't. He's simply not good enough to establish himself as a frontrunner for this spot so it's too hard to trust him on a regular basis. Omari Spellman (17 minutes, three points, one rebound, two assists and a triple) got relegated to the bench, but should be held onto for a few more games to see how things shake out.

  • Damion Lee
    SG, Golden State Warriors

    Damion Lee scored 21 points on 7-of-16 shooting to go with four rebounds, six assists, a steal, a block and three triples on Thursday.

    Lee started and logged a team-high 37 minutes on Thursday and should be rostered in all standard leagues. The Warriors like what they see from him and he's proving himself on the court in both reality and fantasy.

  • Alec Burks
    SG, Golden State Warriors

    Alec Burks led the Warriors in scoring on Thursday with 25 points on 6-of-14 shooting to go with four rebounds, one assist, one steal and four triples.

    Burks played 32 minutes off the bench as Coach Kerr rode the hot hand. The Warriors took this game into OT, but fell short and Burks continues to provide a strong scoring punch for them. He doesn't do much else, so keep that in mind when looking at him.

  • Eric Paschall
    PF, Golden State Warriors

    Eric Paschall logged 20 minutes off the bench on Thursday and scored 16 points on 4-of-7 shooting to go with five rebounds, two assists, one steal and one triple.

    Paschall was efficient from the floor and was able to fill up the stat sheet in a limited amount of minutes, but our main concern is the playing time. He just doesn't get enough on a regular basis to warrant standard-league ownership.

  • Draymond Green
    PF, Golden State Warriors

    Draymond Green scored six points on 2-of-8 shooting with eight rebounds, eight assists, a steal and two blocks on Thursday.

    He's never going to score a lot, but the overall line was juicy enough for us to pay attention and it might be enough for owners to sell-high. There are plenty of risks that come with owning Green and if he can keep up this level of play you should definitely ship him off for a more reliable option.

  • Nikola Jokic
    C, Denver Nuggets

    Nikola Jokic posted a 23-12-8 line with two blocks in Thursday's 134-131 win over the Warriors.

    Jokic went 10-for-20 from the floor and hit all three of his free throws in 44 minutes of action. Now that he has his legs under him, he's been pushing out first-round lines on a nightly basis. The eight turnovers were a bit uncharacteristic, but we'll live with that as long as he keeps bringing the rest.